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Seventy-six years ago, on 31 January 1935, a milestone in the world of teacher education was etched when a special College for women in Malaya was officially opened by the government of the Straits Settlements. This College was known as The Malay Women's Training College, or MWTC. It was located in Durian Daun, Malacca and was established with the aim of training Malay women teachers, specifically to teach in primary girls’ Malay medium schools.
Initially, 24 trainees who came from all over Malaya were accepted to commence the first academic session on 1 February 1935. These selected trainees had passed standard five in Malay School and had made it through the interview process conducted by the Education Division. The trainee intake was comprehensive, whereby, 14 were from the Straits Settlements and 10 from the Malay States. The complete note of the number of students who came from every state, as reported in the article by Fatimah bt. Haji Musip, a second batch trainee from the college, is as follows:
The pioneer trainees underwent training for two years under the supervision of the first principal of MWTC, Ms Pardom, the former women’s Supervisor of Malay Schools in the Straits Settlements and her assistant, Ms M. Lomas. During the initial stages, the MTWC operated from the blocks of the old Malacca Hospital buildings which had been renovated by the British colonial government..
tandem with the aims of its establishment and its position as a special College to train women to become teachers in Malaya, the curriculum of the MWTC was inclined towards providing domestic training and daily requirements of a housewife. This two-year syllabus was a revision of the syllabus for girls’ schools from standard one to standard five. The subjects taught comprised of Mathematics, Reading and Writing Roman alphabet and Jawi script, Composition, History, Physical Geography , Domestic Science, Hygiene, Principles of Teaching, Religious Knowledge, Singing, Physical Education and Games, Art, Sewing and Handicraft.